Discouraged Newbie Needs Advice - Hair is Curling Up Too Short!

sophie2018sophie2018 Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
Hello All - I just got started with the CG method about a month ago and so far it is not going well for me. I am white with, according to my best assessment, 3A, medium porosity, very fine, thin hair. I have never straightened it but have gotten blonde highlights for years (and now need them to cover gray).

The problem: I like my hair best when it is approaching shoulder length, but I haven't been able to grow it this long in years because it gets too broken, damaged, and straggly at the ends. Before discovering CG, I air-dried it and left it more or less curly, but I used regular hair products, had it cut wet, and used a brush. The results were highly variable - sometimes it looked pretty good, but it was often either really frizzy or thin and limp. Basically, I needed the frizz to get any volume.

I recently started using DevaCurl products and CG methods and stopped brushing it. My hair itself looks ok, as the curl looks nicer and more defined. The problem is that using this method my hair curls up so short that it is barely chin length. I already have a round face, so the volume of the curl on the sides of my head - without the counteracting length - makes my face look even rounder. I end up with nice curls but the overall effect is like a not-very-attractive poodle.

I have been hoping that caring for my hair in this new way would make it healthier so it would grow longer, and that would give it a better shape. But: 1) I don't know if this will actually happen; and 2) Even if it does, I'm not crazy about looking this bad for the 6 months or so it will take it to grow. 

At this point I am tempted to go back to using a brush, as this pulls it a bit straighter and gives it more length - yes, it causes frizz, but that seems a lesser evil. But I was hoping someone has a better idea! 

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Any suggestions would be most welcome! 

Best Answers

  • SavagegirlSavagegirl Posts: 380 Curl Connoisseur
    Accepted Answer
    Hi! Have you looked into protein treatments for strengthening your hair? 
    2C-3A Fine, medium density, long
    Modified CG Method / Natural Only since 2015
    Canadian Mama!
  • bomegabomega Posts: 1,355 Curl Virtuoso
    Accepted Answer
    Hi @sophie2018 : Welcome to nc.com. I'm sorry you are struggling with your hair. For starters, I agree that your hair might benefit from protein for strengthening. Here are few more thoughts.

    1) What are you doing for techniques? Are you doing all that scrunching and plopping? I found using these techniques give me frizz and reduced clumping, which I don't like. So instead, I apply all products right-side up, smoothing it down. Also, when drying my hair I start with my hair completely saturated with water, then use a t-shirt by smoothing it down the length of my hair, squeezing water out as I go. I do this a few times until it's dry enough. I'm telling you all this because a side-effect of this technique is that it slightly lengthens my curl pattern. Personally, that isn't what I want, but I'm willing to live with it for the benefits. It might give you the lengthening you want. I've also noticed by doing this, I get a better shape to my hair with a bit of root lift, less poof. Part of this is also because I have a great hair dresser who does a great job cutting my hair.

    2) Have you gotten a Devacut? If so, did you discuss this issue with them? I personally don't prefer the Devacurl aesthetic on me, but I do have to say the really did bring out the curl to its advantage. You don't have to look like a wet poodle to have nice looking hair. :)

    3) The time I got a Devacut, obviously they used Devacurl products to style, and I did feel like their products are simultaneously curl enhancing and heavy. I'm not sure, but I think they do work well for their cutting and styling techniques...if that is what you want. But it might not be the best thing for you. Along those lines, its possible you would do better with other products. My hair really benefited from the Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Shampoo, Conditioner, and Style Milk, back when it liked protein (this line has silk protein in it which my hair used to love.) Many people also use the Curl Enhancing Smoothie as gel. This line seems to be popular across many curl pattern types, so its worth a shot if you are interested.
    Low-poo: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Shampoo for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Coconut & Shea Hydrating Shampoo
    Clarify: Kinky Curly Come Clean
    Rinse-out: Alaffia Coffee & Shea Revitalizing Conditioner for Fine/Thin Hair (summer), Alaffia Everyday Coconut Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
    DT: Camille Rose Naturals Algae Renew Deep Conditioner
    Leave-in: As I Am Leave-in
    Styler: Lily of the Desert 99% Aloe Vera Gelly
    Treatment: Daily tea spray; Coconut oil overnight treatment; Citric acid rinse for hard water; 2-step Henndigo w/ amla to cover gray

    2C, fine, low porosity, low/medium density, protein sensitive

    Looking for styling products and tools

    iHerb Code KQS149 for 5% off your order
  • BouclesdorBouclesdor Posts: 1 Curl Neophyte
    Accepted Answer
    Hey Sophie!  :)
     I agree with everything that was said previously & I would like to give you my insight.
    First of all, don't stress. Hair is a part of ourselves, it defines our style & our moods but shouldn't be a stressful situation. You sais that you are new to this method, give yourself some time & experiment with other products & styling methods! You must have patience if you want your hair to cooperate with you in the long run.
    Secondly, as hard as it may be for you, your hair won't grow overnight, & altering your curls so that they appear longer may compromise its integrity in the future.
    I suggest that you embrace every stage of your curly hair life. I'm sure there's a lot you can do to make this situation easier for instance, doing some kind of updos, braids or pulling your hair back with a headband. 
    I know that shrinkage can be perceived as discouraging & annoying when you want to grow your hair out (I have 3c/4a hair so I know what I'm talking about lol)  but it's a significant sign of healthy curls & that's the beginning of every healthy curly hair journey! 
    Lastly, in order to speed the growth of your hair, make sure you stick to healthy habits :
    - give yourself a nice scalp massage daily, with your fingertips or a scalp massaging brush
    - moisturize your hair when needed, protein treatment when needed 
    - have a healthy diet & drink enough water daily 
    - have fun &  enjoy the process!
    Your hair will never be this length anymore (unless you cut it intentionally) so enjoy everything you can experiment with it currently. & no stress! Hair is like a beautiful plant that we cultivate daily on our head. Treat it like the most precious material, it will thank you! ;) 
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 20,726 Curl Virtuoso
    Accepted Answer
    Welcome to Nc @sophie2018 !  Give yourself and your hair a bit of time to adjust to new products and new routines. Do some experimenting.
    I also have type 3 hair and I find scrunching and plopping both work great for me to give me volume and definition. If you want to lengthen your curls you might want to try some heavier products, ones that are very moisturizing. I find a coconut oil treatment a few hours before I wash helps lengthen my curls. Good luck and don't get discouraged!
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -  
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey - 


  • sophie2018sophie2018 Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    Wow, you guys are wonderful! Thanks so much for the thoughtful and informed responses. I am headed to an appointment now but will give a detailed response when I get back. It feels great to be part of this community, as most of my friends would not understand!
  • sophie2018sophie2018 Posts: 3Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions! Very helpful and encouraging. To address a few specifics:

    1) No, I haven't gotten a DevaCut yet, and I'm sure that is part of the problem. My recent cut was just about a month ago and was traditional (ie. cut wet). So it probably wasn't a good shape for the way I am wearing my hair now, but I think it's too soon for another cut. My next one will definitely be a DevaCut.

    2) Yes, I have been scrunching and plopping. I like the idea of experimenting with smoothing the product down instead and seeing how that looks. Thanks!

    3) Regarding the suggestion of wearing my hair in different ways while it is growing (headbands etc): Great idea! In fact, after I posted, I experimented with pulling my hair back from my face with side combs, and it did a lot to reduce the look of having a BIG ROUND HEAD (round face with round-shaped hair flaring out around it - not an attractive look :-)). So I will try out different options while my hair is in this awkward phase.

    4) Definitely will try some protein treatments!

    5) I also appreciated the product suggestions. I started with just DevaCurl products because I liked the fact that you could get starter kits with small amounts of different products to try, and also I was overwhelmed with the huge number of options - so many different brands each offering such a huge range of products - so I thought I'd pick one brand to start with. Of the DevaCurl products I've tried so far, I liked the No Poo and the One Condition, but was not crazy about the two styling products that came in the kit, the Light Defining Gel and the Styling Cream. But of them made my curls tighter and crunchier than I wanted them, even when I tried to break the cast when dry. My hair is very fine (like a little girl's hair) and thin (possibly in part due to damage), so I think these products may be more hold and definition than I need. I'd like to find something that helps with frizz and volume but leaves my hair softer and looser than the above products. I will check out the specific products people have listed and would welcome any additional suggestions.

    Thanks again for all the help and encouragement! It was especially heartening to hear that the dreaded shrinkage is a sign of healthy curls, and to be reminded that will not stay this short.

    I will keep you guys posted on my progress!

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